ALBERTVILLE, Ala (WKRG) – An Alabama family has welcomed six new family members, all at once. The family announced on Facebook that they have given birth to sextuplets.
The hospital released more information:
The first sextuplets born in Alabama since 2011 were delivered at Huntsville
Hospital for Women & Children on Dec. 11, 2017.
David L. Rushing, MD, of the Clinic For Women, delivered the Waldrop sextuplets by Cesarean
section with help from a team of about 40 labor and delivery nurses, neonatologists, anesthesiologists,
maternal fetal medicine specialists and surgical assistants.
The fraternal sextuplets – three boys and three girls – were born at just under 30 weeks’ gestation.
The babies ranged in weight from 2 pounds, 4 ounces to 2 pounds, 14 ounces. They are all in good condition
but will require several weeks of specialized care in Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children’s Neonatal
Intensive Care Unit (NICU) before going home with parents Eric and Courtney Waldrop of Albertville, Ala.
Courtney is expected to be released from the hospital in the coming days.
Sextuplets are exceedingly rare. This is the first sextuplet delivery in the history of Huntsville
Hospital for Women & Children, the first sextuplet birth in Alabama since 2011, and the first time sextuplets
have been born in the state outside of Birmingham.
Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children is the only hospital in North Alabama with the
specialized services to perform a sextuplet delivery, including a Level III NICU and maternal fetal medicine
experts – obstetricians with special training in high-risk pregnancies.
“Our obstetrics and neonatal teams have been preparing for this delivery for months. The level of
detailed planning and coordination is truly impressive,” said Paula Lucas, vice president of Women and
Children Services. “While we’re honored to be a part of each of our patients’ deliveries, we’re especially
proud to have the physician specialties and hospital services needed to safely deliver the Waldrop
Employees from the NICU, Labor & Delivery Unit, Mother Baby and other clinical departments held
multiple drills to practice every aspect of the sextuplets’ delivery and first minutes of care. Nurses and
physicians were divided into six color-coded care teams: yellow, purple, red, green, orange and blue.
Each team was responsible for a specific baby immediately after the birth – performing an initial
checkup, recording the weight and other vital statistics, and getting the baby settled in a portable neonatal
incubator for the short trip upstairs to the NICU.
There were just 24 quintuplet or sextuplet deliveries out of 3.9 million total births nationwide in
2015, the most recent year for which statistics are available. The only other surviving sextuplets born in the
United States this year were delivered in May in Richmond, Va.
Underscoring the rarity of sextuplet births, TLC will feature the Waldrop family in a documentary
slated to air in 2018. Part of the show was filmed at Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children and will
follow the Waldrops’ life-changing journey every step of the way – from Courtney’s high-risk pregnancy to
how they’ll adjust to becoming a family of 11.
The Waldrops have three other children, including five-year-old twin boys.
An Albertville couple got the surprise of their lives when they found out they wouldn’t be having one baby but six.
Courtney and Eric Waldrop are having sextuplets and on Saturday night their gender reveal party involved the entire community. Three boys and three girls will join the Waldrop’s five-year old twins and eight-year old son.
“The community and close friends and church family’s been such as blessing to us, praying for us and showing their support,” said Eric Waldrop.
The community showed their at the 5K run and gender reveal, but it’s all been a tough one on the couple.
“When we first found it out we were pretty devastated to be honest with you,” Waldrop said. “But as time went on we kind of come to peace with it.”
Waldrop says they were told the chances of having multiple babies was low with low dose fertility treatment.
Now they’re still getting used to the fact their lives have changed forever, but at least they know their neighbors stand with them.
“It just kind of goes to show what a small community can do, rally around us and it’s a blessing for sure,” he said.